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RETAIL/F&B Last modified on March 17, 2016

The next big thing!

Airport World turns the retail spotlight on Abu Dhabi’s new Midfield Terminal and a handful of other innovative retail/F&B projects across the globe.

Abu Dhabi Airports claims to have awarded the duty free concession for its new Midfield Terminal Building to two of the world’s “most innovative duty free operators” – Aer Rianta International (ARI) and Lagardère Capital.

DAA’s international retailing subsidiary, ARI, has been chosen to provide the perfume, cosmetics, skincare, sunglasses and fashion jewellery categories at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s new Midfield Terminal for a period of ten years commencing in December 2017.

While Lagardère Capital has won the contract to oversee the tobacco, confectionery, and fine foods categories, in partnership with Abu Dhabi Capital Group.

The tender process started in February 2014 when retail operators were asked to submit concepts which would capture the essence of Arabian hospitality, combined with retail execution that would offer “sensational shopping experiences” to the 30 million passengers who are expected to use the Midfield Terminal Building (MTB) when it opens.

It will boast 28,000sqm of duty free space, comprising 18,000sqm of retail and 10,000sqm of F&B outlets.

“Offering an unrivalled, sensational travel experience to passengers sits at the heart of everything we aim to deliver at the Midfield Terminal Building, the future gateway to the capital city,” reveals His Excellency, Ali Majed Al Mansoori, chairman of Abu Dhabi Airports.

“Aer Rianta International and Lagardère Capital have came up with ideas that will set new benchmarks in airport retail.”

He adds that their technologically-advanced, unique concepts were perfectly aligned with the airport’s ambitions. 

“With them both onboard, we are confident that the MTB retail offering will impress travellers, creating a distinctive sense of purpose and sense of place that they will want to experience again and again,” says Mansoori.

Commenting on the win, ARI’s CEO, Jack MacGowan, says: “Delivering sensational experiences was at the heart of our proposal and it will be especially rewarding to see our innovative designs, retail concepts and customer services brought to life at the new terminal.

“From the moment we started work on the bid submission we were energised by Abu Dhabi Airports’ commercial vision to create the world’s best, consumer and leisure experience at an airport. It’s an ambition that is very much in tune with our own company purpose to create outstanding shopping experiences every time.”

Dag Rasmussen, chairman and CEO of Lagardère Travel Retail, promises: “We have created an innovative concept with the ambition to create a multi-sensory shopping experience that is an extraordinary fusion of iconic brands entertainment, technology and culture, with a unique Abu Dhabi touch. 

“We are confident that the Abu Dhabi Midfield Terminal stores will set new benchmarks for the industry.”


Multi-lingual menus

Meanwhile, Down Under in Australia, Brisbane Airport has introduced multi-lingual digital menus in its International Terminal to make ordering food at its F&B outlets easier for its Asian visitors.

Delivered in partnership with Brisbane digital agency Klyp, the multi-lingual digital menus are located at the front of 13 partner restaurants and are available in English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

Toby Innes, Brisbane Airport Corporation’s head of retail and commercial, says the initiative is the first of its kind at an Australian airport.

“Last year we welcomed more than five million passengers through the International Terminal and this is aimed at breaking down language barriers with passengers who might have difficulty with English menus,” he says.

“The design of the software is dynamic in that it allows us to roll out further languages easily as other source markets increase, while also having scope to be rolled out across the Domestic Terminal.”

The initiative forms part of Brisbane Airport Corporation’s strategy to make the gateway more appealing to Chinese travellers.


Miles better 

In what is believed to be an industry first, OTG has launched an exclusive Miles Shop at United’s Newark Liberty International Airport hub enabling MileagePlus members to use their miles for a range of gifts and amenities, while members using traditional methods of payment will earn five miles for each dollar they spend.

Products on offer range from gifts and electronics, including limited edition headphones, suitcases and signed cookbooks from Alain Ducasse & Elizabeth Falkner to everyday essentials such as travel kits, power adapters, and travel guides. Not to overlook the youngest jet-setters, the Miles Shop also offers a range of children’s toys and clothing. 

Offerings range from as few as 600 miles to 50,000 miles, keeping with United’s focus on providing MileagePlus members varied options for using their miles during the travel experience. 

“The MileagePlus team works each day with a singular mission: to make the world’s best travel loyalty programme more rewarding for our members,” says Praveen Sharma, United’s vice president of loyalty.

“The Miles Shop at Newark Terminal C is a terrific extension of that mission as it offers United customers expanded opportunities to earn and use their miles.”

In November 2014, Newark’s Terminal C became the first airport to accept MileagePlus award miles for food and beverage purchases at select concepts throughout the terminal.

“United has been an instrumental partner in developing innovative ways to expand its MileagePlus program at Terminal C,” says OTG CEO, Rick Blatstein. 

“We’ve received tremendous positive feedback since we introduced the ability for customers to use their MileagePlus miles for meals, and the development of the Miles Shop is a direct result of that unique experience.”

OTG is also now testing the spending of miles at the Cibo Express Gourmet Market in the terminal based on customer interest and is evaluating whether it should further expand to more miles shops and/or within more news and gifts stores.


Looking to the future

Oslo Airport has released a sneak preview of the new food, beverage and convenience store offerings that will open at the gateway in April 2017!

A total of five operators have been selected to serve food and beverages to the passengers at Norway’s main gateway to the world.

“A long, meticulous selection process has resulted in our decision to enter into a partnership with five operators,” says Øyvind Hasaas, managing director of Oslo Airport.

“These operators submitted the overall best tenders and we feel certain that the Norwegian people will be pleased with our choices.”

The five winners are SSP, HMSHost-UMOE F&B Company, Reitan Convenience Norway, Joe & The Juice and BIT. 

The number of F&B establishments will increase from the current 20 to 37, while the number of convenience stores (kiosks) will increase from six to ten. 

“Our ambition has always been to bring in more operators, and now we have a good mix of companies that will provide better and more extensive food, beverage and kiosk offerings than what we have today,” says Hasaas. 

“We want to provide the best possible services for our passengers. While our current food, beverage and kiosk offerings are good, we believe that this will be enhanced when we open an airport nearly double its present size in April 2017.”

Among the existing food and beverage establishments, Peppes Pizza, O`Learys, La Baguette, WB Samson, Caffè Ritazza, Starbucks and Aquavit Bar will continue, while Franks Deli and Upper Crust will be phased out.

“We wanted a broad selection where passengers can choose among both international and Norwegian menus. Several of the stablishments have Norwegian food and beverages on the menu, while others have a more international flavour. 

“It is this combination that makes us certain that our passengers can look forward to excellent culinary experiences, at acceptable prices,” Hasaas concludes.

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Mark Draper

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